Expanding Participation of People with Disabilities in the Philippines AKA “EXPAND”

Our Goal

In 2012, via the EMPOWER Program funded by the US Department of State, Discovering Deaf Worlds began providing Deaf Filipinos with training on organizational development, Deaf education, policy, advocacy, and community outreach.

With the EXPAND Program, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), our goal was to “expand” the participation of Deaf Filipinos in their country’s society, workforce, and culture. How? By working with the Philippine Federation of the Deaf (PFD) to improve the sustainability of PFD and its 28 member organizations, creating a stronger pool of Deaf leaders who can carry on this vital advocacy work.

Our Strategy

We worked closely with the PFD Sustainability Sub Committee (PFD-SSC) through 2015, using a “train the trainer” approach. After DDW program specialists imported knowledge and assisted with hosting capacity building workshops for the Filipino Deaf community, PFD-SSC members successfully became self-sufficient in the necessary skills. PFD-SSC then planned, hosted, facilitated and exported what they learned by training their peers throughout the country. Meet the DDW and Filipino team members.

As a result, PFD and its member organizations are better equipped to improve the rights, education, economic opportunities, and communication access for the 120,000 Deaf people in the Philippines.

Our Focus Areas

Following the Importer–Self-Sufficiency–Exporter model, training improved Deaf Filipino leaders’ capacity to do the following:

  • Collect data and create strategic plans
  • Understand disability law
  • Follow organizational governance best practices
  • button-meetteamEngage in fund management, fundraising, & fund development
  • Develop and evaluate programs
  • Carry out marketing, outreach, & public relations
  • Conduct a national forum on deaf leadership, and
  • Continue the cycle of training through follow-on activities and community workshops.



Read more about the EXPAND Program here



March vol. 7, iss.3 Jul vol. 7, iss.4

The EXPAND Program was made possible with the generous support from the American people, delivered through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

For more information, contact Davin Searls at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it